His world’s prescribed:
trees, grass, flowers
familiar, people friendly,
dogs happy or yappy, but he knows
which are which.

With confidence he leads me, wagging,
’til a flash of sunlight streaks a car,
a rake is left haphazard on the walk,
or bags of garbage suddenly appear.

Then he stares
and growls a question or a threat.
He barks at snowmen,
and that fireplug he peed on in the sunshine
becomes a stubby monster in the dark.

furry and endearing.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Dog Days: A Celebration of Dogs
For Real Toads “dog poems”

22 thoughts on “Smudge

  1. A fine watch dog, finds troubles, big and small. He could keep his owner busy fixing his world this was a fun read, Sarah. Thank you.


  2. “Smudge”! There is an internet cat named Mr. Puddy, whose neighbor cat pal is named Smudge. It’s such an adorable name, I think, and your account of him is beyond endearing. Protecting you from snowmen! 🙂


    1. Anything that is out of place in his kingdom gets his full attention. The other day, he sat down and stared at a neighbor’s trash can. Wouldn’t budge. I had to carry him around it.


    1. Thanks, Sara. He has grown over the years into a regulation miniature poodle (a parti poodle they call the ones with 2 colors) and his hair is curlier, but I love this picture of him when he was about 6 months old.


    1. Thanks, Annelle. The smartest dog we’ve ever had, and a puppy mill rescue. I can’t imagine what his life would have been like if they had kept him as a sire. Born in one puppy mill, sold to another when the “broker” didn’t want him but bought the rest of the litter, and then they determined that he might be too big to be a sire. They want big females so they can squeeze in another puppy per litter, but to keep the size down, they want small males. We think he’s perfect at 14 pounds!


  3. kaykuala

    and that fireplug he peed on in the sunshine
    becomes a stubby monster in the dark

    They can be loving and endearing without really trying. By nature they are lovable!



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